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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – About 300 service men and women died by suicide in 2012, according to the Department of Defense.
While almost half of the suicides involved someone with combat experience, only about ten percent happened during deployment.
Dr. Rich Ogle, the head of psychology at UNCW, said the cause is not much different than everyday citizens.
He said members of the military have stress from travel, often far from home and lack of a support system. Add those factors to the typical stresses of relationships and finances and it pushes some soldiers over the edge.
Ogle said the military needs to continuing working toward eliminating any shame that is carried with asking for help.
"It's about being a warrior in the military. It's about being tough. It's about being able to show that you are not weak," explained Ogle. "And feelings of suicide and thoughts of suicide are often perceived by the individual as being weak and being broken."
Ogle, who served as a suicide prevention consultant for the Marine Corps, said the military is doing a good job with prevention efforts, but expects the suicide rate to stay high for a few more years.
If you report someone in the military for suicidal tendencies the will not be in trouble, according to Ogle. He said they will receive the help they need.
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